The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland Branch, hosted an annual reception at the Queensland Parliament last night, attended by all sides of politics including Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk, Premier, Hon Steven Miles MP, Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, Hon Yvette D’Ath MP, Minister of Health and Ambulance Services, and Opposition Leader David Crisafulli MP.
Queensland Branch President, Mr. Chris Owen, said he was thrilled The Pharmacy Guild of Australia was able to bring everyone together for the evening.
“The Parliamentary Reception comes at a time of great opportunity for Queensland,” said Mr. Owen, “we’ve all been through so much with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but thanks to the combined efforts of many, it feels like we’ve turned a corner and can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
“Like many others working in frontline primary healthcare, community pharmacy has been, and continues to play, a vital part in combatting the coronavirus and supporting Queensland patients,” said Mr. Owen.
“Here in Queensland, we were the first community pharmacies in Australia to begin administering COVID-19 vaccines. There are now over 800 community pharmacies involved in the COVID-19 vaccination program, and combined, they have administered more than 152,000 vaccines to Queenslanders in the rollout; what a phenomenal achievement!”
Mr. Owen said the dinner also served as an opportunity to pay tribute to three individuals, Dr. Jeannette Young, Nicole Floyd and Dr. Lisa Nissen, as The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland Branch, recognised their efforts for the past 12 months. They were each presented with the prestigious Queensland Branch President’s Award.
The Award is the highest honour that The Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s Queensland Branch President can bestow and is designed to recognise outstanding achievements and exceptional individuals for their contribution to community pharmacy.
“All three of this year’s recipients were incredibly deserving of recognition,” said Mr. Owen.
“Nicole Floyd has over 22-years’ experience in community pharmacy, working her way through community pharmacy from pharmacy student right through to ownership. In particular, Nicole is being recognised for regularly giving back to the profession by mentoring pharmacist interns, early career pharmacists and young Guild staff. Nicole has assisted extensively with graduate exams and pharmacist interns while fostering a supportive workplace culture. Nicole is also spearheading the Guild’s involvement in the Government commitment of a trial in Far North Queensland of Pharmacists practicing to full scope like in the UK, NZ and parts of Canada. Her important policy work is detailed, heavy and critical for the future of the profession.”
“Dr Lisa Nissen is Professor and Head of the School of Clinical Sciences at the Queensland University of Technology and is an experienced pharmacy practitioner, researcher and educator and has worked in hospital and community pharmacy in metropolitan and rural areas of Queensland, Australia. Dr. Nissen received the Award for her efforts in successfully guiding the State Government’s UTIPP- Q initiative – the Urinary Tract Infection Pharmacy Pilot – Queensland, to advance women’s healthcare.”
“Our final Award recipient needs no introduction, and any recognition of her efforts on behalf of Queensland throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic fall short of what she deserves. Dr. Jeannette Young has been in the role of Chief Health Officer for Queensland for more than 15 years now. Dr. Young has been a national standout, providing critical advice on how Queensland should respond during the pandemic and local outbreaks. Her selfless efforts have meant that we have weathered this storm better than many other states in Australia and almost certainly have put us out in front of the pack internationally. We owe a great deal of gratitude for Dr. Young, and this Award is just a small step in formalising this,” said Mr. Owen.
Mr. Owen said the Parliamentary Reception served to underline the critical frontline role community pharmacy plays across Queensland.
“Community pharmacy has demonstrated the critical part it plays in providing primary healthcare services in Queensland,” said Mr. Owen, “we look forward to working with all sides of Parliament to ensure pharmacies in Queensland have the opportunity to deliver the full scope of practice from Texas to the Torres Strait.”